Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bring 'Er Back To Just Dog And Pony

When I read that in 2008, Rick Rubin may be taking ZZ Top back into the studio to whip those boys back into Tres Hombres era gut-bucket, I was a little geeked. I have a soft spot for those guys, even though the soft spot appeared during Tres Hombres then disappeared shortly thereafter.
After reading that, I started fantasizing about how Rubin would talk them into going on the road and doing the Stones at El Macombo thing. Stripped down and bare-knuckled in 500 seat clubs, opening, guns-a-blazing, and all sexy like to the slow chug of Jesus Just Left Chicago. No hoopla. No Barnum and Bailey. Just Billy, Dusty and Frank reminding us how they never took their foot off the gas.

Now rumour has it they do have a new studio something coming out this year but whether Rick Rubin is attached to it remains to be seen.
Just might have to bite the bullet and hobble down to Muskegon this June to see 'em. Circus or no circus.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

MRI: May Result in Insanity

I bet this must be like some psychological testing they did on astronauts in the fifties, cause if NASA needed a weeding out process, this would have been a key component.

They begin by asking if you are at all claustrophobic. They then hand you a bulb to squeeze which alerts the technician if the experience becomes intolerable (like being slid into a tube not much wider than a toilet bowl could possibly be something akin to a picnic). "Oh" he says, "and take these ear plugs, its gonna get a little loud."

I'm slowly rolled in the chamber with little to no room for movement and my nose millimeters away from ceiling. There is what looks like a small speaker directly in front of my face and I'm thinking why do I need a bulb when I can simply scream for them to get me the hell out.
So I test it by asking how long the procedure reply.

Just loud as hell. Thanks for the earplugs buddy, I think I would have fared better with a full-face motorcycle helmet. And then it stopped.
Okay, okay, this has gone on just a little too long and I'm starting to formulate an exit route just in case that bulb hasn't received any recent maintenance checks.

They really ought to think about taking a few of these babies down to Guantanamo.

Museum of History and Industry, Seattle Washington

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Karla Bonoff

After a few years of busking on Monday nights at LA's Troubadour and then witnessing her songs firing up accolades for Wendy Waldman and Linda Ronstadt, Karla Bonoff was signed as a solo artist to Columbia Records which launched her self titled debut in1977. Lending a hand were her friends, Kenny Edwards, Andrew Gold, J.D. Souther, Glenn Frey along with Waldman and Ronstadt.
I Can't Hold On became the hit but Someone To Lay Down Beside Me and Isn't It Always Love were also stellar standouts.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Belle Of The Ball

If you blinked at all during 1975, which you must have done at least at some point, you might have missed Richard Torrance And Eureka's Belle Of The Ball. It was introduced to me by fellow compatriot and bass player, Rock Pyle, who wore the grooves down so deep to the instrumental first cut, The Jam, that we were given immediate CIA clearance to pursue and decode if possible, any Russian or Chinese intelligence.
Belle Of The Ball was recorded on the Leon Russell / Denny Cordell, Oklahoma based, Shelter Records, along with the help of musicians Carl Radle, Don Preston and Jesse Ed Davis. Also a one time home base for JJ Cale, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Phoebe Snow and the Dwight Twilly Band. Ol' Slow Hand did his own sniffin' around for band members and maybe inspiration around the Oklahoma area around this time as well.
If anyone knows where they can get their hands on a recording of The Jam off Belle of the Ball, please, do tell.

Monday, April 19, 2010

That's Enough About Me, Let's Talk About You, What Do You Think About Me?

I've been lacking in posting etiquette. They've been scattershot in quality and quantity. March and April have just been sons 'o guns in terms of finding the right tool to pull my head out from that small, pretty dark puckery place.

Some of my time has been taken up participating in an experiment for Michigan based, online news source, MLive. I've contributed a few things toward that. So if you're ever so inclined, checkout .

I want to thank all of my Facebook friends for climbing aboard my shirttail fan page. I'll be back in full force before you know it. Probably when I find myself unemployed with not much else to do but rob banks and write about it.

The biggest bitch-kitty is to have to put the cork back in the bottle. Maybe for good. I didn't see that one coming. But I'd rather see my kids and grandkids while I can still see em. I want to yell at them and kick their behinds just like I did their folks...and they turned out allright, except for that nervous tick my youngest developed after we finally let her up stairs from the fruit cellar.

should be a '54 Crestline Country Squire

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Loud, Fast Rules

Early 1940s era, P-51 Mustang.
-Hell of a gunfighter during WW II
-Somtimes packed 6, 50 caliber, M2 Browning machine guns
-Single prop, Rolls Royce made, Merlin engines
-Tuskegee Airmen flew Mustangs almost exclusively. Only American fighter group to never lose a bomber to enemy planes
-Top speed over 450 mph
-Ford Mustang was named after it
-Use of Wikipedia? A little bit


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Snow Capped Franks

In 5th grade, Jack and I would make the 3 block trek to his house for lunch and TV. I don't remember how long the lunch period ran but it allowed us enough time to make the hike, set ourselves up with TV trays and crank the channel to Bewitched.
Noon was kind of an odd time slot for the show if you think about it. But I'm almost positive we weren't thinking in terms of programming. We were just tickeled to sit in a comfy chair, chow down and lust over Samantha Stevens.
As ten year olds, we probably didn't even know we were lusting. But in retrospect, we had to be. Even Elizabeth Montgomery's nose was fetish worthy. Pure and impish. But brother, hell hath no fury.
Nostrils aside, I really had only two other favorites on the show; the bumbeling Aunt Clara and Paul Lynde as Uncle Arthur.

Lets just lay a weeny down and plop a scoop of mashed potatoes on top. That's added value AND nutrition

Peter Marshall: In "Alice in Wonderland," who kept crying "I'm late, I'm late?"
Paul Lynde: Alice, and her mother is just sick about it


Monday, April 5, 2010

It's A Ditry Word, Creative

"He's creative," is a polite description friends and family members use when trying to round out a profile, when really: unorthodox, black sheep, eccentric or loon are equally interchangeable.

I can't remember the last time I've heard of someone being described as "offbeat," or "marches to a different drum." It's something one of my mom's bridge club members would have whispered, trying to downplay any neighborhood talk of weirdness.
"Out there," which I think is more dignified than say, "spacey," can still hold water. Often times after a question, asked repeatedly, and gone unanswered in a small room occupied by only two people.

But being tagged as creative is not so different as being labeled as having some psychological disorder. A stigma is still a stigma. You're always expected to show signs either positively or negatively, voluntarily or involuntarily, to assure others of their assessment. Sometimes medication is required to bring it out or to shove it back in. Sometimes it either begins with a form of madness or ends with it.

But if I had to choose between adding colors to the palette or taking colors away, there are worse things than being a loon.